From sea level rise, to extreme weather, to desertification, the US has among the highest risk for damages. Photo: US Army/Creative Commons.
Each year there are 350,000 people dying due to climate change, with a total death toll by 2020 of five million; each year after that deaths from climate change are likely to be as high as one million people annually--that is unless we take action to soften the blow with immediate and rapid greenhouse gas emission reductions. That's the word from DARA's new Climate Vulnerability Monitor: The State of the Climate Crisis.
And don't think for a moment the United States is spared. In fact, the US is listed as the most vulnerable wealthy nation on the planet. What's more, together with Spain, they are the only two wealthy nations classified as having high vulnerability. US Tops World For Extreme Weather Damages
As for why that is: Spain is particularly vulnerable when it comes to habitat loss from desertification. The United States is in the top ten places in the world for risk of desertification (#4), damages from extreme weather events (#1), and sea level rise (#7).
The report says that by 2030 the US will suffer the highest total amount of economic losses of any nation on the planet, losing about $40 billion a year by 2030 due to climate change effects.
Keep in mind that that's in total dollar amount; in terms of percentage of GDP, in the south Pacific nations will be losing on average 4% of GDP.
Currently the global economy is losing $150 billion due to climate change, a figure increasing to $300 billion by 2030--half of which will come out of the economies of the US and Europe.
Children are being particularly hard hit by climate change, already. In parts of Africa and South Asia malnutrition and disease, both likely to just get worse due to the effects climate change, are already killed hundreds of thousands of people. Photo: TKnoxB/Creative Commons.
Nearly All Current Climate-Related Deaths Are In Poor Nations
But back to those five million people dead because of climate change over the next ten years: Almost 80% of climate-related deaths that are occurring are children in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. 99% of total climate-related mortalities are happening in developing nations, when inexpensive solutions to disease and malnutrition could prevent them.
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More on Global Climate Change:
Hey Southeast US! Here's Where Climate Change is Really Going To Hurt
Climate Change Will Cost US States Billions of Dollars
How Climate Change Could Destroy America
33 US Generals & Admirals Say "Climate Change is Threatening America's Security"